“WE LOVE SCOTLAND, BUT SCOTLAND DON’T LOVE US” | THE LOTTERY WINNERS RETURN TO FINISH WHAT THEY STARTED

NO.1 ALBUM WINNING LOTTERY WINNERS TALK TOUR LIFE, FAMOUS MATES AND WHY SCOTLAND DOESN’T LIKE THEM

Alright Glasgow, we’re gonna make this cold dark Tuesday night feel like…a Wednesday night!

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BY ANNE KELLY

An Infectious Mutley worthy laugh travels through Glasgow’s Classic Grand tonight, catching the crowd as it passes by. Not only a concert, THE LOTTERY WINNERS’ Thom Rylance delivers quite the laugh alongside the groups indie pop bangers. Returning north of the border to wrap up the conclusive rescheduled 2023 dates of the ‘This Is How It Feels’ tour (part 1), Manchester’s The Lottery Winners are immersing themselves with Scottish culture. From Buckfast to Heilan’ Coo’s, they take our traditions very seriously.

“We love Scotland!” Thom tells me before the show. “But Scotland doesn’t love us” he sighs. “I’m going to be honest with you right now though, we need to fix this in this interview right now. We come to Scotland a lot, but I dunno, Scotland doesn’t like us. Why?”

He’s got a point. These guys have toured the world, had a No.1 selling album, supported Morrissey, The Charlatans, Blossoms and Madness (to name but a few!), recorded with legends such as Shaun Ryder, Boy George, Frank Turner and if that’s not enough, last year they achieved the unofficial record of most sets played by one artist during a single Glastonbury festival. Maybe Scotland just didn’t get the memo yet?

“We done well tonight actually. We’re always worried about putting shows on in Glasgow or anywhere in Scotland. They seem to sell a little slower – don’t they? But I think we’ve got there tonight so maybe we’re starting to get there.” Thom shares.

“Yeah, but don’t forget, the next time we’re here we’re playing the Hydro” Kate (bass) pipes up over Thom, forgetting they will support the one and only Rick Astley on his huge arena tour next month. “Oh yeah, that’s true. I’m sure all the tickets sold because of us” Thom laughs off.

Thom & Kate – The Lottery Winners (credit Bella Proudfoot/Northern Exposure)

Despite not feeling the love in Scotland quite as intensely as they do across the rest of the UK, it’s fairly crystal that the people who have come down for this northern quartet are here through sheer love.

Experiencing the winteriest conditions of the year yet, you could forgive the passive fan from opting to stay home instead of venturing into the big city. It doesn’t look that has happened tonight. The 550 cap 19th Century B-listed venue is elbow room only. Grand in style but intimate in nature, The Classic Grand doesn’t do much to keep the chilly elements away. It’s a good thing that for our pre-gig chat, we do so in the comfort of their rather luxurious tour bus.

“Can you believe it this is our actual jobs. It’s stupid really, how did we manage it?” Thom takes it in. “Who’s letting us do this?” Kate adds.

But at what point in a bands lifespan do you decide to give up the day job?

“I think we all kinda decided that we didn’t want to do anything else and made a pact all to quit our jobs and throw everything at it. Then the whole country went into, like, I don’t know if you remember but there was some sort of lock down. It was just before that really and we never looked back – did we? Regardless of everything we knew this was everything we wanted to do. We put out our first album around that time and it’s gone really well since then.” Thom

That little number 1 album last year must have been nice though?yeah, I mean I wasn’t going to mention that” laughs Thom. “We don’t talk about it much, do we?” adds in Kate laughing along.

Every single day I look at that trophy and look at myself in the reflection, just in me undies in the morning like ‘oh wow, that’s so special’. (It’s) something we’ve got forever. And we’re so grateful to everyone who bought the record and got behind the campaign. It’s changed our lives genuinely.” Thom.

The Lottery Winners went straight to No.1 with their album Anxiety Replacement Therapy.

The Lottery Winners by name, Lottery Winners by reputation. They may not be flashing the cash but what they lack in materialism, they make up humbly with love for the community around them. I don’t think I remember the last time I laughed at a gig like I did at The Lottery Winners this week. Their personality shines through their performance. These guys have nothing to prove, they thrive on positivity and the energy it generates. Reflecting back from the room, love is what sustains this evenings show.

“Not everybody in this industry is nice, I know lots of bands that are knobheads. But we don’t work with them, we only work with nice people, don’t we? We’ve been really lucky that the LEGENDS we’ve worked with have all been so lovely and warm to us”.Thom continues “D’ya know what, all the legends, all the people that have actually done something, they’re all the nice ones. And all the people who are horrible are the ones that haven’t done anything. That’s what I find.” Thom

“You sound like you’re just telling a kid about being bullied” Kate laughs before Thom shrieks “THEY’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS! YOU ARE A SHINING STAR AND THEY’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF YOU!”

The album features duets with Shaun Ryder, Boy George & Frank Turner

If you haven’t indulged yourself in The Lottery Winners 2023 Official No.1 Album Anxiety Replacement Therapy (A.R.T) then what you need to know is that it includes collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry. But who was the best to work with?

I really, really love working with Frank (Turner). He’s a bit of a mentor to us as well. He’s really great at advice and we really look up to his whole work ethic and everything’s he’s done. But Shaun Ryder – he is the FUNNIEST to work with. Like being in the studio with Shaun Ryder is exactly how you would imagine it would be. He was like ‘Whats hur name? What’s your name’ and we’re like, that’s Kate. And he’s like, ‘What? CAPE’ (laughs) Yeah Shaun, CAPE!” Thom recalls in his best Shaun Ryder impression. “I had proper stomach cramps from laughing at him” Kate adds in. Boy George as well, he’s just incredible to be around that man.He’s got like such an aura, doesn’t he?

Thom wins over their Glasgow crowd 16/01/24 (credit Hope Simmers/Northern Exposure)

With just over an hour to charm this normally ‘challenging’ Glasgow crowd, The Lottery Winners attempt to hook their audience with their most popular tunes yet. Worry, Sertraline, 21, Letter To Myself and Start Again are amongst the favourites being offered this evening. Coming close to a year since they last released new music, I had to ask what recording plans were looking like.

Kate smiles upon the delivery of such a question before Thom takes over, “I don’t know when we’re going to start with singles but probably going to look at very early next year (2025) for the album. I don’t want to rush things. I want to let ART breath a bit – I think it would be unfair to Anxiety Replacement Therapy to just put something out immediately. That needs it’s time. It’s a really good album and we’re really proud of.”

So you’re back writing again though, would you collaborate again? Have you any idea’s?

Oh yeah. We’ve got one in the bag already and it is such a great song, isn’t it? It’s one of my favourite songs we’ve ever been involved with. I’m not going to tell you who is  but that’s one of our favourite artists and someone we’ve grown up listening to and going to see, so that was really nice – and someone who has become a great friend of ours as well which is kind of weird. Making friends with all these people. My phone book is getting like pretty cool. It really is, I go through it sometimes like – NO WAY! (laughs) it’s so cool.

Who’s the most famous person in your phone book?

NOEL GALLAGHER” Thom answers without a second to think. “I still feel he shouldn’t be trusted with it” Kate add.

I’ve been texting Noel a lot, like c’mon lad, when are we going out together (laughs) and I think, I think we might have something to announce really soon.

Thom
Thom in Glasgow (credit Hope Simmers/Northern Exposure)

Having extended their own fan base through supporting others on your, The Lottery Winners continue to share their platform to other aspirational emerging artists. Tonight, Birmingham based The Clause bring their Kasbian-style riffs to The Classic Grand. Having just released their first EP ‘Pop Culture‘ at the end of last year, this mighty four piece are on the cusp of crashing into the mainstream. Before The Clause, it was down to local alt-rock outfit Forgetting The Future to take the chill off the room. Based in the Scottish Highlands, this fresh faced band hold nothing back. Their intensity and drive is unmatched tonight, Forgetting The Future have delivered.

Of all the people you have supported, what was the best?

“We’ve done some pretty mad ones, but for me, supporting Morrissey was one of those full circle moments because he’s the reason that I started writing songs in the first place. To be in the same room as him like backstage and chat to him – to be called ‘Very Witty’ (best Morrissey impression) by him was just…we’ve had a lot of moments where it’s been like that when we’re literally amongst our heroes – and playing with them, kinda being treated as peers.

Who was the worst to support?

“Embrace” Thom offers with no hesitation. Thom is referring to the 2022 tour with the 90’s/00’s ‘Gravity’ singing indie band Embrace, where four shows in the bands announced that ‘Due to unforseen circumstances’ The Lottery Winners would be replaced by Ellur for the remaining dates. I didn’t want to dig much further, but if internet speculation is to believed, it’s possible been fuelled by green-eyed monster and Embrace not amused at being upstaged by the support.

This Is How It Feels Tour – Part 1 concluded this week (credit Hope Simmers/Northern Exposure)

Whatever drama happened, I think there is very little doubt from us that The Lottery Winners are one of, if not THE feel good band on the scene. What we all want to know though is, can The Lottery Winner‘s go one further and claim a second number 1 record when the time comes or is this the peak?

“We were just talking about that. We’re writing at the moment and it’s like an album’s started to take shape and its really good and like should we…what do you do now? But yeah, why not. I’m putting it on record now – we’re gonna go for it (No 1) again.”

If only cracking Scotland was so easy.

The Lottery Winners played a SOLD OUT homecoming at Manchester O2 Apollo 19/01/24 (credit Bella Proudfoot/Northern Exposure)

Listen to the full unedited interview with The Lottery Winners now.